Two Poems


Barnaby Smith





Factory song



“I believe in littering, waste should not be hidden but seen.”

— Cass McCombs



trembling hammers     half-animated

stands between this

& pitchforks


                       in tools

ungrammared              un-Gandhi-ed

recall Gandhi & smell latrines

habitats partitioned in

rock phosphate i.e

gloved charity, many-headed


cherish others          

as rocks &


interfaces evolving

as bodies slow down—

               tongues flail,

               distinguish between

               animal vegetable instincts



imagine your colander skin

in daylight / con

temporary free


inheritance        calcified axioms

under ceiling fans


the all-possibility of a no

response           in a humid place





Acre / age



begin with a talk about

           wind direction?

                       or a cutting retort

                       for the excavator



they’re guessing at circuits –

            an inventory of the future

            compelling the intimacy of terrain

out from beneath lolling stones


come the chimerical fire trail

conversation sprawls into an

encompassed hum,

                               a relieving northerly—

strangers ad-libbing on a theme

of management provide verdicts

that ring out prospects —

then those delicate unsure seconds

before it drops: when mobile phone

is mistaken for bird call


their thoughts are all in vegetation

that changes at a certain height,

demanding heavier strut


& a clinical expression

of what’s rational — it

knows only itself, a streak of

cruelty retooled

to ward off the quiet








Barnaby Smith is a poet, journalist and musician currently living on Bundjalung land in Australia.  His poetry has appeared in Cordite, Southerly, FourW, Best Australian Poems, Australian Poetry Anthology, Meniscus, Transnational Literature and others.  His arts and music criticism has appeared in or at Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Australian Book Review, The Quietus and others.  He won the 2018 Scarlett Award for arts criticism.  Barnaby Smith is online at